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10003This short essay builds on your recent discussion forum work (Aristotle, Kant, and Mill). The questions are written below. Answer the questions in whatever writing program you use (Word, Pages, TextEdit, etc.), save it, and upload it by clicking the “Submit Assignment” button above. If you have any trouble uploading the assignment email me directly using Canvas’s Inbox.
Assignment Goals and Objectives
This assignment is designed to test your ability to explain AND apply the theories you’ve been learning about over the past 2 weeks. To succeed on this assignment you should be able to:
Explain the central arguments for virtue ethics (Aristotle), deontology (Kant), and utilitarianism (Mill).
Apply each of the theories to a scenario to “test” the feasibility of their normativity.
Formulate objections to (Aristotle), deontology (Kant), and utilitarianism (Mill) and consider possible solutions.
Before you begin answering the questions you need to do some honest self-reflection and ask yourself if you understand the material well enough to explain it and apply it. A helpful resource is the Writing Philosophy page.
Assignment Instructions
There are three questions listed below you must answer ONLY two. Each question is worth 5 points for 10 points total.
Each question has a similar format: you’ll be presented with a scenario and you must
Explain the relevant aspects of the philosophical theories in question.
This is similar to a philosophical exegesis. Click HERE for tips on how to do philosophical exegesis.
Apply the philosophical theories to the scenario in question.
For example, you should explain what Mill’s theory would require Mrs. Smith’s lawyer to do with her will and, most importantly, why. Then do the same for Kant.
Assess which philosophical theory offers the best moral guidance for how one should act in the scenario in question.
This should include an argument about why, for example, you maintain that Mill’s theory gives the best guidance to Mrs. Smith’s lawyer AND an argument about why, following the same example, you maintain Kant’s theory is inadequate. You should also include a potential way to strengthen the inadequate theory.
Although the assignment is like an essay, you DO NOT need an introduction or conclusion. (Note that this is different than with your final essay answers, which do require introductions, thesis statements, and conclusions.)Assignment Questions (remember, answer only two)
Consider the following scenario: A burning building, relatively structurally sound, is engulfed in flames, with 4 small children trapped inside. There are two people who must decide how to respond to the situation: Granny — an 80-year-old misanthropic, pyrophobic, Luddite, who saw her mother burn to death in a fire when she was younger. She’s in relatively good health, although she uses a cane. She has a cell phone for emergencies, but she hates it. Clark Kent — a 30 year, world-renowned firefighter who is on his way back from the latest firefighting championships. He has all his gear with him but, like Wolverine in the X-men, has loads of superpowers, so he rarely needs it.
Explain, thoroughly, the relevant aspects of Aristotle’s and Mill’s theories. In other words, what would Aristotle and Mill think is (morally) at stake in this scenario?
Explain how Granny and Clark Kent should both respond to the situation of the burning building from both Aristotle’s and Mill’s perspectives. Would Aristotle require both Granny and Clark Kent to do the same thing? Why or why not? Would Mill?
Make an argument explaining which philosopher gives the better moral guidance and which gives the worst. What’s something that you would change to ameliorate the “worse” theory? Be sure to thoroughly explain your assessments here.
Imagine you are Mrs. Smith’s lawyer, and you have promised to execute the terms of her will after she dies. Years ago she had you draw up a will leaving her substantial fortune to a famine relief fund. When she dies and you go through her papers, however, you find a more recent, legally binding will, written and signed by Mrs. Smith herself, in which she bequeaths all her money to her lazy niece, who (you know) will spend it on beer and Beanie Babies. No one else knows of the later will, but by law a later will supplant an earlier one.
Explain, thoroughly, the relevant aspects of Kant’s and Mill’s theories. In other words, what would Kant and Mill think is (morally) at stake in this scenario?
From Kant’s perspective: Should you execute the later will? Or should you secretly destroy it, act as if it never existed, and carry out the terms of the earlier one (giving the money to famine relief)? Why? From Mill’s perspective: Should you execute the later will? Or should you secretly destroy it, act as if it never existed, and carry out the terms of the earlier one (giving the money to famine relief)? Why?
Make an argument explaining which philosopher gives the better moral guidance and which gives the worst. What’s something that you would change to ameliorate the “worse” theory? Be sure to thoroughly explain your assessments here.
Imagine that there’s a famous, rich celebutante whose Bentley is dangling precariously off the edge of a cliff. Below, past a jagged craggy precipice, a school of hungry hammerhead sharks is circling. The celebutante is frantically tweeting her plight to her millions of followers, promising a large reward to whoever can rescue her. You decided to try your luck, even though you are afraid of sharks, cannot swim, and have no search-and-rescue abilities. Explain, thoroughly, the relevant aspects of Aristotle’s and Kant’s theories. In other words, what would Aristotle and Kant think is (morally) at stake in this scenario?
From Aristotle’s perspective, what should you do and why? From Kant’s perspective, what should you do and why?
Make an argument explaining which philosopher gives the better moral guidance and which gives the worst. What’s something that you would change to ameliorate the “worse” theory? Be sure to thoroughly explain your assessments here.

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This short essay builds on your recent discussion forum work (Aristotle, Kant, and Mill). The questions are written below. Answer the questions in whatever writing program you use (Word, Pages, TextEdit, etc.), save it, and upload it by clicking the “Submit Assignment” button above. If you have any trouble uploading the assignment email me directly using Canvas’s Inbox. Assignment Goals and Objectives This assignment is designed to test your ability to explain AND apply the theories you’ve been learning about over the past 2 weeks. To succeed on this assignment you should be able to: Explain the central arguments for virtue ethics (Aristotle), deontology (Kant), and utilitarianism (Mill). Apply each of the theories to a scenario to “test” the feasibility of their normativity. Formulate objections to (Aristotle), deontology (Kant), and utilitarianism (Mill) and consider possible solutions. Before you begin answering the questions you need to do some honest self-reflection and ask yourself if you understand the material well enough to explain it and apply it. A helpful resource is the Writing Philosophy page.Assignment Instructions There are three questions listed below you must answer ONLY two. Each question is worth 5 points for 10 points total. Each question has a similar format: you’ll be presented with a scenario and you must Explain the relevant aspects of the philosophical theories in question. This is similar to a philosophical exegesis. Click HERE for tips on how to do philosophical exegesis. Apply the philosophical theories to the scenario in question. For example, you should explain what Mill’s theory would require Mrs. Smith’s lawyer to do with her will and, most importantly, why. Then do the same for Kant. Assess which philosophical theory offers the best moral guidance for how one should act in the scenario in question. This should include an argument about why, for example, you maintain that Mill’s theory gives the best guidance to Mrs. Smith’s lawyer AND an argument about why, following the same example, you maintain Kant’s theory is inadequate. You should also include a potential way to strengthen the inadequate theory. Although the assignment is like an essay, you DO NOT need an introduction or conclusion. (Note that this is different than with your final essay answers, which do require introductions, thesis statements, and conclusions.)
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